Medicaid Expansion’s Impact on the Kansas Behavioral Health System and Users of Behavioral Health Services

2 Min Read

Jan 26, 2023


Phillip Steiner, M.A.,

Cynthia Snyder, M.A.
Logo: Medicaid Expansion’s Impact on the Behavioral Health System and Users of Behavioral Health

Medicaid is among the largest purchasers of behavioral health services in the United States and in Kansas. If Kansas were to expand the Medicaid program under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, the outcome also would expand Medicaid’s role in the behavioral health system in Kansas. This report, prepared for the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas through a contract with the Community Care Network of Kansas, studies the impact that Medicaid expansion might have on the behavioral health system in Kansas and how expanding coverage could provide other benefits for Kansas families and communities.

Key findings include:

  • Of the 108,800 adults expected to newly enroll in Medicaid if expanded, an estimated 24,154 are likely to use behavioral health services once enrolled.
  • Medicaid expansion is estimated to increase annual revenues for behavioral health providers from Medicaid claims by $87.1 million, a net revenue increase of $62.6 million.
  • Federally qualified health centers in expansion states had average increases of 1,500 visits overall and 1,000 mental health visits per year as compared to non-expansion states.
  • Medicaid expansion has been associated with fewer arrests and reduced rates of rearrest. A reduction in arrests may lead to reduced spending at county jails in Kansas and reduced incarceration in the criminal justice system.
  • Medicaid expansion states experienced a 32.0 percent reduction in foster care admissions related to neglect as compared to non-expansion states. Applying the reduced rate experienced in expansion states to 2022 Kansas foster care data equates to an estimated 305 fewer children entering the foster care system in Kansas because of neglect.

Access this publication in the Documents & Downloads section.

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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